Kentucky Enrolls 7,000 People in Health Insurance via kynect

October 10, 2013

kentucky state health exchanges

kentucky state health exchanges

Kentucky’s state-run health insurance exchange seems to have fared better than most others so far, enrolling close to 7,000 people in the first seven days of October.

That’s according to Barbara Gordon, the director of social services for Kentuckiana Regional Planning & Development Agency. The agency is one of two nonprofits awarded grant funding from the state to help people enroll in Kentucky’s exchange, kynect.

Her organization engages as many as 25 people as in-person assistants, or “kynectors,” for a 16-county region of the state that includes Louisville and several rural counties. In a media call organized by the non-profit consumer healthcare group FamiliesUSA, Gordon shared insights from conversations she’d had with those kynectors and from the open enrollment events she’d attended.

As for exactly who is enrolling in health insurance through the exchange, she didn’t yet have the data to say. “The age varies, but a significant number of individuals, based on the information that I’ve gathered, range from early-to-mid 30s into their 60s,” she said. That includes retirees, individuals who have lost their jobs and many who have pre-existing conditions.

A number of people have actually discovered that they qualify for Medicaid while going through the process. “Anecdotally, I would say at least 95 percent of individuals (who have enrolled) have either been eligible for Medicaid or received subsidies,” she said.

The Kynect site had some initial glitches on the morning of the Oct. 1 launch, but they were ironed out by 3 p.m. Gordon attributed this to the IT people at Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange. A Wall Street Journal post on Thursday cited simple design and the cooperation of various key state agencies as other potential factors.

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Representatives from “navigator” organizations tasked with helping people use the federal exchange in Michigan and Virginia were also on the call. Neither had enrollment data from her state.